John 5:44 How can you believe, when you receive glory from one another and do not seek the glory that comes from the only God?
Glory: high renown or honor won by notable achievements.
This one verse is part of Jesus’s fairly long indictment of the brokenness of human nature. As hard as it is to read, it’s also encouragement to respond. From the moment of our birth we begin to understand “notable achievements” can make people respond positively to us. Even a toddler can enchant us with their response to the right encouragement. We clearly have a built-in nature that still recognizes “notable achievements” can result in glory for this life.
Jesus is determined to remind us it’s our remembrance of what glory is meant to be that is broken. Our glory will not be complete until we “seek the glory that comes from the only God” who’s most “notable achievements” were to create mankind and this world so His glory might become part of our shared glory that would honor Him.
How can you believe, when you receive “high renown or honor won by notable achievements” from one another and do not seek the “high renown or honor won by notable achievements” that comes from the only God?
Bartimaeus is sitting by the side of the road begging so an approaching crowd is good but when he hears Jesus is with them he begins to shout, “Jesus, Son of David, have mercy on me!” Many rebuked him and told him to be quiet, but he shouted all the more, “Son of David, have mercy on me!”
*49 Jesus stopped and said, “Call him.”
*51 “What do you want me to do for you?” Jesus asked him
*52 “Go,” said Jesus, “your faith has healed you.” Immediately he received his sight and followed Jesus along the road.
I forgot to add my tag to The Red Thread last Sunday but it would have been something to do with eyesight because I saw a connection between the vision of James and John and blind Bartimaeus. There’s more than one kind of blindness.
It was interesting that Jesus asked the exact same question in both of these stories; “What do you want me to do for you?” Jesus really wanted them to focus on their answer to his question. James and John’s vision was of a shared glory. Bartimaeus only knew his vision was dependent on Jesus. Both were responses of faith but are they either/or options?
Instead of making it an either/or option I wonder if the point of these two stories following one another is to show they don’t compete with but complete one another? It’s a new vision of what a whole [holy] person looks like, complete with total dependence AND shared glory.
2 Thessalonians 2:13 But we ought always to thank God for you, brothers and sisters loved by the Lord, because God chose you as firstfruits to be saved through the sanctifying work of the Spirit and through belief in the truth. 14 He called you to this through our gospel, that you might share in the glory of our Lord Jesus Christ.
John 15: 5 “I am the vine; you are the branches. If you remain in me and I in you, you will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing.
My answer to Jesus’s question? I want the complete package, please.